When’s the last time you thought about the condition of your Chicago roof drains and downspouts? Your roof drains and downspouts funnel rainwater from your roof and away from your building. When they aren’t working properly, they can lead to water damage and foundation problems. Luckily, lining your roof drains can extend their useful life and save you money.

What Roof Drains Do

Roof drains are also referred to as roof drainage systems. These systems are designed to funnel stormwater from your roof and away from your building. For smaller buildings that may mean sending it out onto the property where it can be absorbed by the grass. For larger buildings, this can mean sending it into the city’s stormwater system.

When it comes to commercial buildings and large residential high-rises, these drains are often made out of cast iron, and over time that cast iron can rust, leading to cracks and holes, and if those holes aren’t repaired or the pipes aren’t replaced, it can lead to water damage on the roof, in the walls and even in the building’s foundation.

How to Tell When Your Roof Drains Need Repaired

The bad news is that roof drains for large commercial buildings and high-rise apartment buildings and condos are hidden behind walls. This means that you cannot see the pipes, and do not know if they are rusting, cracked, or in disrepair. However, there are a few signs that you can look for in order to determine if your roof drains need to be inspected and/or repaired.

  • Water is visibly pooled on the roof after a rainstorm.
  • The building has a musty odor.
  • You can see water spots on ceilings and walls.
  • The drywall is wet near the drain pipe.

What Happens if You Don’t Keep Your Roof Drains in Good Condition

If you don’t periodically inspect your building’s roof drainage system, you could be in for a surprise. Since these pipes are often buried deep behind walls, leaks and cracks can lead to the deterioration of your building’s structural components. This includes the rusting of nails and metal support beams and the rotting of wood.

If the rainwater isn’t funneled away from your building properly, it can lead to water pooling around and under the foundation, which can lead to the crumbling of the concrete, cracks, and even extreme settling. If your building has a basement, you may notice that the walls are wet and the mortar between the concrete blocks or bricks is crumbling. Since these can be costly and time-consuming repairs, we recommend that you periodically have your roof drains inspected and consider lining them with epoxy pipe liners.

Roof Drain Pipelining with Nu Flow, Serving Chicago

Pipelining can extend the useful life of your roof drains and downspouts and prevent further deterioration of the host pipe. This is because pipelining is essentially a pipe within a pipe. During the process, your roof drains and downspouts are thoroughly cleaned to remove dirt, debris, and corrosion.

Next, a felt liner is cut to the correct length and soaked in epoxy. Once the liner has been properly prepared, it is inserted into the pipe and pressed against the pipe walls, using an air bladder. The bladder is left in place while the liner cures. This usually takes around 24 hours.

After the curing process is complete, the air bladder is removed and a camera inspection is performed to make sure the liner is properly placed. If everything looks good, the pipe is ready for the next thunderstorm or afternoon shower.

Our pipelining comes with a 10-year warranty. It’s environmentally friendly because it doesn’t involve removing pipes to put into landfills or using new pipes, and it takes less time to line a pipe than it does to replace the pipe. Not to mention, the coatings used to line pipes are rated to last between 35 and 50 years.

To learn more about how pipelining can help you extend the useful life of your roof drains and downspouts and prevent water damage, give us a call at 815-790-9000.